For immediate release: July 7, 2022
AUSTIN, Texas – Texas Water Trade (TWT) launched our centerpiece program, the Texas Water Market Makers, at the beginning of the Covid pandemic. Our first cohort of Market Makers – Audubon Texas, the Galveston Bay Foundation, and The Watershed Association – dealt with the considerable headwinds of forging voluntary water transactions during a time of unparalleled isolation from the landowners and water districts crucial to their success. Yet despite these challenges, Texas Water Trade is energized by their achievements.
We’re especially proud of the milestone water purchases we helped enable to protect valuable coastal resources in Galveston Bay – thanks to the incredible work of our partners at the Galveston Bay Foundation and The Nature Conservancy. In West Texas, we are seeing signs of success from Audubon Texas’ ongoing efforts to forge agreements to boost flows on the Pecos River downstream of the Red Bluff Dam, a reach of the river that routinely suffers from freshwater depletion. And we were thrilled to support The Watershed Association’s efforts to help Hays County receive State Revolving Funds to develop alternative groundwater resources that could reduce demands on the taxed Middle Trinity Aquifer feeding iconic Jacob’s Well.
As we celebrate these successes, we are pleased to announce a second cohort of Texas Water Market Makers, each of whom has a clear vision for using voluntary water transactions to build a more secure water future for Texas.
Our 2022-2024 cohort of Market Makers will allow us to continue our work with Audubon Texas, the Galveston Bay Foundation and The Watershed Association and includes our newest Market Maker, the International Crane Foundation. Each of these partners will receive wide-ranging support from Texas Water Trade to advance their work to protect and enhance freshwater flows for wildlife in the state’s rivers and bays.
“We are proud to be selected as one of the conservation organizations to work with and learn from the TWT team to advance our initiative of providing healthy coastal habitats for the Endangered Whooping Crane each winter within and around the San Antonio Bay system. It is truly all about reliable freshwater delivery to our estuaries,” relayed Dr. Liz Smith and Mr. James Dodson, Project Co-Leaders from the International Crane Foundation, Gulf Coast Program.
“With our Market Makers who participated in our 2020-2022 cohort, we will be working to replicate and scale the deals they have advanced thus far, resulting in larger, long-lasting benefits. With the International Crane Foundation, we look forward to supporting their objective to expand and secure critical habitat for endangered whooping cranes – by focusing on securing freshwater vital to their survival,” said Sharlene Leurig, TWT Chief Executive Officer. “These relationships will continue to build the framework for Texas Water Trade’s next decade of work, including the expansion of funding sources, transactions and, ultimately, water and ecosystem benefits. I am especially proud of this work because it encapsulates so well the collaborative spirit of Texas Water Trade.”
More about the Market Makers:
Audubon emphasizes restoration and conservation of degraded and vulnerable landscapes that support sensitive species of birds, habitats, and communities in Texas, focused on habitat strongholds where threats to water, land use, and natural processes can be reduced through on-the-ground improved science-based stewardship.
Galveston Bay Foundation
Galveston Bay Foundation (GBF) works to preserve and enhance Galveston Bay through conservation efforts and habitat restoration of wetlands, coastal prairie, oyster reef and seagrasses. As a Market Maker, GBF and TWT will work together to complement those efforts and drive voluntary, market-based solutions to protect and enhance critical freshwater inflows to Galveston Bay.
The Watershed Association
The Watershed Association envisions a future with clean, plentiful and sustained water for Jacob’s Well in the Texas Hill Country. The Watershed Association’s primary focus has always been to protect the Trinity Aquifer that sustains flow to Jacob’s Well through groundwater and surface water management.
International Crane Foundation
The International Crane Foundation works worldwide to conserve cranes and the ecosystems, watersheds and flyways on which they depend. We have a broad commitment to the people and places essential to cranes. In North America, the last, self-sustaining population of federally endangered Whooping Cranes only winter within and around the Guadalupe-San Antonio Estuary. As this wetland-dependent species continues to increase in numbers and expand their winter range, we are working with our partners to ensure enough healthy coastal habitats are available to support their recovery. Water quantity and quality is essential to maintain the estuarine and freshwater water systems along our coast and working with the Texas Water Trade as one of the conservation organizations will advance our initiative to provide high quality habitats and landscapes for cranes and people.
Learn more about the Texas Water Market Makers here.
Contact: Kristin Rodriguez, Texas Water Trade